Every day, New Yorkers suffer injuries after tripping on uneven payment. Indeed, slip and falls on public sidewalks are one of the most common types of accidents. If you have been injured after tripping on uneven pavement, the law office of Michael LoGiudice can help you obtain just compensation.
Who is responsible for the injuries caused by tripping on uneven pavement in New York?
In some cases, negligent construction caused the uneven sidewalk. Negligent repair or maintenance of New York City sidewalks or pavement can also cause sidewalks to become uneven, broken, cracked, or icy. When New York City fails to fix uneven sidewalks promptly, even more, dangerous conditions can result. To file a successful personal injury lawsuit, the injured party must prove that the responsible party knew or should have known about the dangerously uneven sidewalk. If you tripped on uneven pavement and suffered an injury, our aggressive personal injury lawyers can help.
New York’s Severely Damaged Sidewalks Are Hazardous for New Yorkers
New York City is currently dealing with a significant number of dangerous sidewalks. These broken sidewalks create dangerous conditions for New Yorkers. New York City officials recently announced that they will fast-track repairs for 5,500 priority sites at which tree roots have broken up sidewalks. The City will also investigate other 50,000 existing sidewalk violations to determine if they are responsible for the damaged sidewalks. Going forward, New York City will be responsible for fixing these damaged sidewalks, not homeowners.
The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation currently offers a program to help repair severely damaged sidewalks. New Yorkers can become independent contractors after completing a tree work permit application. After completing the sidewalk repair, an individual can apply for compensation within 90 days of the repair. Only certain locations qualify for this program, mainly sidewalks damaged from tree roots that are adjacent to one, two, and family homes. The home must be occupied by the owner and cannot be used for commercial purposes.
Common Injuries Caused by Cracked or Uneven Pavement
Most people who trip on uneven pavement suffer a hard fall to the ground. A person’s hands and arms often suffer injuries from attempting to soften the fall by extending their hands and arms to the pavement. When a trip and fall on pavement happens quickly, the injured party may not have time to brace himself and protect his face. In these situations, an injured party may slam his or her head and neck hard on the pavement, causing a brain injury or spinal cord injury.
When a sidewalk is cracked and uneven, New Yorkers are more likely to trip, fall, and suffer injuries. Uneven surfaces are particular dangers for children and adolescents. The cracks in the pavement can cause a child to be thrown from his or her scooter or bicycle and suffer serious injuries. Elderly individuals have a much higher risk of suffering serious injuries as a result of tripping and falling on the pavement. Hip fractures are common injuries caused by tripping and falling on even pavement. The following injuries are also common when New Yorkers trip and fall on the uneven pavement:
- Pulled muscles
- Bruises and bumps
- Scrapes and cuts
- Head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Sprained Ankles
Proving Negligence After Tripping on Uneven Pavement
To recover payment from an insurance company or in a personal injury lawsuit, the injured person must prove that the property owner’s negligence caused his or her injuries. Property owners can and should fix dangerously uneven pavement conditions with proper planning. However, many do not make any attempt to fix the dangerously uneven pavement conditions abutting their property. The following unsafe sidewalk conditions are often enough to show negligence on the part of the property owner:
- Cracked or broken slabs of pavement
- Loose slabs of pavement
- Missing slabs of pavement
- A sloped slab of pavement that retains water, snow, or ice
- Damage to the pavement caused by tree roots
- A hole in the sidewalk that is at least a half of an inch deep and one inch in diameter
- Dirt, gravel, or other sidewalk debris
- Unsafe sidewalk patchwork repairs that use unapproved materials such as asphalt
- Dangerous snowy or icy conditions
Submitting an Insurance Claim for Uneven Pavement Injuries
The owner of the property abutting the sidewalk has a legal duty to keep the pavement in a reasonably safe condition. Many businesses carry general business liability insurance. Those who suffer injuries from tripping on uneven pavement can often file an insurance claim. Those who trip on pavement abutting a private individual’s home may be able to file a claim against the homeowner’s insurance.
Bringing a Personal Injury Lawsuit for After Tripping on Uneven Pavement
Under New York law, injured parties can bring a premise liability lawsuit to hold businesses and individuals accountable for injuries that happen on their property. Property owners who fail to take reasonable care to maintain their sidewalks may be liable for injuries caused by the uneven sidewalks. Under New York City law, the owner of the property abutting the dangerous sidewalk must maintain the sidewalk and keep it in a reasonably safe condition.
Bringing a Lawsuit Against New York City for Failure to Maintain a Sidewalk
When the sidewalk abuts a one, two, or three-family residential home in which the owner resides, the City of New York is responsible for maintaining the sidewalk. To bring a lawsuit against the City of New York for failure to maintain a sidewalk properly, the injured person must prove an additional element. The injured person must prove that the City had received prior written notice of the dangerous sidewalk condition before the injury took place. The injured party needs to prove that an individual or organization had provided the city with written notification as to the crack, unevenness, pothole, or other dangerous sidewalk conditions.
To bring a lawsuit against a municipality like the City of New York, the injured party must file a Notice of Claim soon after the injury occurs. The Notice of Claim must include certain information, such as when and how the accident occurred. It must also include information on why the injured party believes that the municipality was at fault for the accident. The City of New York imposes strict time limits on filing a claim for injuries caused by sidewalks. That’s why speaking to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible is extremely important.
Our Aggressive Slip & Fall Lawyers Can Help
If you’ve suffered an injury caused by uneven pavement in New York, our skilled personal injury lawyers can help. We will thoroughly investigate your accident to determine who is at fault. Our lawyers will discuss your best option for recovering compensation for your injuries. Contact our New York City serious personal injury law firm as soon as possible to schedule your initial appointment and learn how we can fight for you.